1.2 What Is My Community Like?
There are many parts of a student’s community and neighborhood that a student can learn to recognize, point out, and relate to when looking at past Californian communities. In this inquiry set, students will analyze and address how and why communities change over time and what commonalities their own communities share with previous towns and cities. Students will compare and contrast how factors such as new technology, architecture, and the migration and blending of different cultures can shape communities and their neighborhoods.
- HSS 1.2.1 Locate on maps and globes their local community, California, the United States, the seven continents, and the four oceans.
- HSS 1.2.2 Compare the information that can be derived from a three-dimensional model to the information that can be derived from a picture of the same location.
- HSS 1.2.3 Construct a simple map, using cardinal directions and map symbols.
- HSS 1.2.4 Describe how location, weather, and physical environment affect the way people live, including the effects on their food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and recreation.
What is our community like?
- Students view a generic community map to learn mapping and location vocabulary (symbols, key, between, near, far, next to, away, etc.). In partners or in a fishbowl model, students share observations of the map with each other using academic-specific language (i.e., "The police station is next to stores and food shops").
- Students discuss their own community, using Student Handout 1.2.2 to record their thoughts. Alternatively, a visual like a 3-D map or an aerial shot would engage students and provide access for equitable engagement. This activity can be done as a whole class, in groups, or with a partner. Students write the name of their community at the top of the organizer, then add a definition for their community, descriptive words ("many hills," etc.), and then they provide a list of examples of landmarks and other essential parts of their community. Students also list examples that are not found in their community (i.e. "skyscrapers or amusement parks"). Teachers may also need to record student responses on chart paper or the board to model writing and spelling.
- Students view and discuss the images of California communities from long ago. Using the same graphic organizer, students make observations and connections about California communities of the past (Student Handout 1.2.3). Then the class can compare these communities with their own by circling all the similarities with a blue pen and circling the differences with a red pen. Alternatively, the teacher could make the chart with student input.
- Using the sentence starter, students will complete the statement comparing their community today with communities of long ago.
- As an extension, students could draw a map of their own community, as shown in the example in Student Handout 1.2.1, using symbols and a key for significant buildings and other landmarks. To further develop speaking skills students may share their community maps with a partner or the class, using mapping and location vocabulary (between, near, far, next to, etc.).
- The Library of Congress. The Library of Congress’ Primary Source Analysis Tool supports an inquiry model of instruction by asking students to first observe, then reflect, then question. Their customizable tool includes specific prompts for student interrogation of books and other printed materials, maps, oral recordings, photographs and paintings, and many other types of primary sources.
- The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). NARA has developed a vast collection of document analysis worksheets, ready for classroom use. Their website offers teachers a wide collection of customizable tools – appropriate for working with photographs, maps, written documents, and more. NARA has also customized their tools to meet the needs of young learners, and intermediate or secondary students.